Saturday, February 11, 2012

Facts About the Cost of the New Franklin High School

Dear Franklin Friend,
As we move closer to the March 27 vote to support the construction of a fully furnished and equipped 21st century high school and auditorium for our community, you should feel confident the project will stay on time and on budget.  Here are five factual reasons why you can be comfortable the new Franklin High School will be delivered as promised with no costly surprises:
·         The new Franklin High School is a Model School. Our model has been built eight times in other communities in Massachusetts, an experience which eliminates many of the unknowns that can drive up the cost of design and construction in these projects. You can learn more about the Model School Program here:

·         The cost includes a conservative contingency budget of 4 percent. This far above what other model school projects have experienced. In Whitman Hanson, the change orders during construction amounted to less than 1%. Norwood had the same experience. And Plymouth North has had change orders amounting to one-half of 1 percent. All of the real-world evidence demonstrates that Franklin's project will come in at or under budget.

·         The cost includes everything. The March 27 debt exclusion voters are being asked to support funds a fully furnished and equipped new high school. In addition to furnishings and equipment, the cost of demolishing the old facility and constructing new athletic fields is included. It also accounts for potential inflation during the five or six months it will take to complete the bid documents and bid the project.

·         The project budget underwent a rigorous, professional review and approval process. The budget was developed by a project manager and architect with deep experience in the Model School Program; analyzed by two other professional firms; carefully reviewed by the Franklin School Building Committee; and, heavily scrutinized and unanimously endorsed by the professionals at the Massachusetts School Building Authority.

·         The cost of new construction is more predictable than a renovation. New construction eliminates much of the guesswork in the budgeting process. For example, the key systems at the current Franklin High School are located under a concrete slab foundation and behind cinder block walls. A renovation of the existing building would require significant demolition, take twice as long, and could encounter unforeseen, costly issues.

Thanks to careful planning and oversight by experienced school building professionals, as well as heavy scrutiny by town and state officials at every step of the process, Franklin residents can feel confident about the new Franklin High School budget. The budget is capped at $104.5 million, as is the cost to the taxpayers of $47 million. 
Please visit for updated information on the new FHS and why it deserves your YES vote on March 27. The "Learn the Facts" page ( offers great factual information. We also encourage you to keep up with project news by "Liking" our Facebook page at:
Please share this email with your friends and neighbors here in Franklin so that everyone has the information they need to make a good decision.
To those who are already volunteering and have contributed financially, thank you. To those who have not, we need your active support and donations, and we welcome questions. You can email us at, or visit: for more information.
Thank you!
Citizens for a New Franklin High School
Vote Yes for FHS on March 27! A Real Need. The Right Time.

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